At 4:30 am on Saturday morning I flew outta bed. I wasn't nervous...rather I was in the zone! "I don't get nervous, I get ready." - Friday Night Lights
Anyway, I had to be at the park no later than 6 am. I arrived and set up my transition area, sometimes having to use the light on my phone as guidance because it was still dark outside! We all checked in, getting packets with the course info, got our numbers written on our right tricep and right calf (I was #465), got our helmets checked, and got our tshirts. Ok, it's no secret that the shirt is a big deal. When I did this race in 2010, I got a tech tee, but the fit was so awkward that I honestly have only worn it a handful of times. This year there was no tech tee - just a regular cotton tshirt! What the heck? If I'm gonna pay more than $50 for a race you better give me a freaking technical tshirt to wick away my sweat. I will have to make that suggestion, vertabim, to the race committee for next year.
In 2010, I wore compression shorts and a spandex top for the race, with an extra for the biking and running portion. This year, I followed my kettle bell instructor's advice and just wore my sweet Speedo and then put on shorts for the biking and running. By not changing a shirt, I would be saving precious time! Around 6:45 am, everyone gathered in the pool area to start. I noticed that participation was definitely down from 2010, but there were quite a few first-timers. The first person to go jumped into the pool, took off, and then the person behind them started 20 seconds later, and so on. I had to wait about 10 minutes before I could take off, and I thought the swim went well. Come to think of it, I really wasn't swimming that hard...it was more like a comfortable pace. I passed the dude in front of me, kept my lead, and then ran to the transition area when I was done.
From there I put on my helmet, socks, shoes, gloves, sunglasses, and shorts and then I took off. I was determined to kick some butt on my bike! A lot of people passed me, but I didn't mind because I was working hard. My legs were getting super tight so I kept drinking my Gatorade and that definitely helped. At one point it looked like it was going to rain, which would have definitely slowed down the biking portion, but fortunately it stayed dry.
Once I got back to the transition area, I took off my bike gear and switched to my running shoes. Honestly, I got ready so quickly that I paused because I felt like I forgot something! I took off running and my legs felt like jello. It was one of those situations where you felt like you could not move your legs any faster even if a pack of wild dogs was chasing you. I shuffled along for the 3.1 miles, picking up a little bit of speed at the finish. The sun had come out and I was happy that it hadn't rained.
My official results!
Swim (1/2 mile): 17:59
Transition 1: 3:07
Bike (14 miles): 56:11
Transition 2: 1:17
Run (3.1 miles): 28:13
Total time: 1:46 (1 hour, 46 minutes)
In comparison to 2010, I improved by FIVE minutes! This year my swim was slower, my run was slower, but both transition times were faster and my bike portion was faster by over three minutes. I am so happy! I placed 2nd in my age group.
Despite being pretty tired, I played in a field hockey game that afternoon which was a lot of fun. People thought I was insane for doing both in one day, but I enjoyed myself and I am happy that I had the energy to do what I wanted to do. There is another sprint tri in Bowling Green, KY in two weeks and I am considering signing up for it...even if they don't give us a tech tee :)